Franklin D. Roosevelt

Rear-Platform Speech at Austin, Texas.

June 11, 1936

Governor Allred, my Friends of Austin:

It is a great regret to me that I cannot make a longer stop here tonight, in order to receive more of this perfectly magnificent hospitality not only from you but from Governor Allred and his official family.

As San Jacinto and the Alamo represent to me the struggle for independence and the earlier days of the Republic, so this capital city represents the later days of the Republic and these long years of statehood since Texas became the twenty-eighth star in the national flag.

I have recalled on this trip through Texas the amazing lives of General Houston, of Stephen F. Austin, of those who founded the German colony of Baron Von Bastrop, and of that far-seeing son of one of my States, that Georgian, Mirabeau B. Lamar.

Texas has always had men who had a zest for life, for peace, for progress— men who have won honors at home and abroad. They have sat in this your capital city. They have served in the hails of the national Legislature in Washington and in the Cabinets of Presidents.

That fine tradition continues today. You know, I am sure, that I lean very heavily on men and women from the Lone Star State, who are rendering such fine and unselfish service to the Government of the United States.

This is a fitting place for me to say to all Texas that to one Texan not only I but the whole Nation owes a special debt, one who began his long and distinguished public service, his long career as a member of your Legislature here in Austin, a Texan whom I proudly and very affectionately call my helpmate, John N. Garner, Vice President of the United States.

I am glad to be here with your distinguished Governor and with your distinguished senior Senator from Texas. I am sorry indeed that it is only because of very important official business in Washington that Jack Garner and Tom Connally cannot be here at my side tonight.

I am glad to see the President of your great university. I understand that somewhere in his pocket he has a button for me to press.

I am particularly interested, as you know, in history. I am greatly interested in the history of Texas and I am very happy that the Nation has had some part in starting this museum in your capital city. Now I am going to hold it up and press the button and you will hear the noise of the explosion in a moment. There she goes!

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Rear-Platform Speech at Austin, Texas. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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